Overlook “This” And Your Brand Will Eventually Suffer

Ask any Marketer what it is that they do, and although I can’t say what number it would be placed at, you can bet that “Developing Brands” will be somewhere on that list. And if you say to that person, “Hey that’s sounds pretty interesting, how do you do that?”, they’ll tell you all about the research that they do, the various analysis and studies they conduct, the creative that they test, and the many other processes and steps they take. All very important, all very necessary to developing a company’s brand.

The one thing they may or may not say though, is this: “We ensure that every employee in the company and every person who is not an employee, but represents the company and has contact with the company’s clients or customers, lives the brand”. Ironically, this living of the brand is probably one of the most important aspects of developing a brand. And it doesn’t mean that all a person ever wears is company-branded clothes, or uses the company’s jargon and code speak at all times.

It does mean that they realize, as any good Marketer will tell you, that your brand must be consistent across all touch points, at all times. So how does this translate into people living the company brand? Simple, it means that everyone in the company, from the person sweeping the floor to the President, delivers on the company’s brand in their own way. That means that when a visitor is seated in the waiting area of the office, it’s everyone’s job who passes by them to just simply smile or give a hello, a good morning, or a good afternoon. If it’s an area where no Receptionist is staffed, it’s asking that visitor if they’ve been taken care of, or if they’ve been offered water or coffee if that’s available. Because no matter what a company’s corporate “brand” actually is, I don’t know of any company that wants to be known as an unfriendly place with people who are cold and impersonal.

But the fact is, this happens – innocently so, but it happens. In many offices in the haste of doing business, a person will see a seated visitor and say to him or herself that that person isn’t here to see me, or that’s not my client or customer, and will walk right by. Maybe they give a slight nod. But what does something like that say about or do to the company’s brand? Especially if that visitor is seated directly under the company’s posted Vision and Mission Statement that talks about how much the company values people and its customers – as many statements oftentimes do. That has actually happened to me…more than once. The thought may be that not giving a visitor a greeting and simply walking by doesn’t diminish or tarnish the brand, and maybe it doesn’t, but on the other hand, it certainly doesn’t enhance or improve the brand either.

Now, ask those same questions about whether giving a greeting to a seated visitor, who is not your client or customer, diminishes or enhances the company’s brand. The clear answer without a doubt is that it enhances it. And here’s the real kicker, it does so for free, just the cost of a few words!

This “people living the brand” also extends to non-employees who engage with a company’s clients and customers on behalf of the company. And because of this client/customer hand-off, having assurance that they are living the company’s brand is even more vitally important.

Consider that Company ABC manufactures widgets and uses a 3rd party company to deliver them. That delivery person has direct contact with Company ABC’s client, and more importantly, has the last in-person touch with that client. If that delivery person is rude, salty, late or any other such thing, Company ABC’s client may not distinguish or even care that that company is a 3rd party vendor, they will simply say that Company ABC’s drivers are rude and salty. And that will certainly diminish Company ABC’s brand.

So at Black Rhino Marketing Group we realize that for every client we are honored to serve, when it comes to developing their brand, there is an external marketing effort that needs to be achieved, as well as an internal one. And while the external effort we develop will certainly result in increasing Sales and Net Earnings, and in improving Profit Margins and Cash Flow for our clients, not developing the internal one in conjunction would, over time, slowly work to erode those gains – you can bet on that too! Fortunately that scenario is an eventuality that clients of Black Rhino Marketing Group do not have to ever worry about.